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Funding, Competition and the Efficiency of NGOs: An Empirical Analysis of Non-charitable Expenditure of US NGOs Engaged in Foreign Aid

  • Peter Nunnenkamp
  • Hannes Öhler

We assess the determinants of the wide variation in the efficiency of foreign aid activities across US-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In particular, we analyze whether noncharitable expenditures for administration, management and fundraising depend on the intensity of competition among NGOs and on the degree to which they are refinanced by governments. We control for NGO heterogeneity in various dimensions as well as major characteristics of recipient countries. We find that fiercer competition is associated with more efficient foreign aid activities of NGOs, rather than leading to “excessive” fundraising. Official funding tends to increase administrative costs. Nevertheless, officially financed NGOs spend relatively more on charitable activities since they are less concerned with collecting private donations through fundraising efforts.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 11-026.

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Length: 27 p.
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/91261
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Not-For-Profit Entrepreneurs," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1852, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  8. Dreher, Axel & Nunnenkamp, Peter & Thiel, Susann & Thiele, Rainer, 2010. "Aid allocation by German NGOs: Does the degree of public refinancing matter?," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 92, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  9. Aldashev, Gani & Verdier, Thierry, 2007. "Internationalization of NGOs and Competition on Markets for Development Donations," CEPR Discussion Papers 6511, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Jeremy Thornton, 2008. "Competition, Contractibility, and the Market for Donors to Nonprofits," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 215-246, May.
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